Twenty-four buildings stood bang on the raja kaluve of Nayandahalli Lake and were the main reason for flooding on the Mysore Road during the October 2005 downpour. While many areas in south, east and south-west were marooned, the Mysore-Bangalore highway was closed for two days.

On Thursday morning, armed with men and machinery, the district administration started demolishing these illegal structures to free the raja kaluve. And the message was loud and clear to encroachers: Evict or get bulldozed.

With three battalions of CRPF personnel, 10 earth movers, 15 heavy-duty trucks, cutters, drillers, 25 engineers, and over 100 gang men in tow, the massive operation began under the supervision of Bangalore urban DC M A Sadiq.

The encroachment had wiped out the natural drain that facilitated the flow of rain water out of the city. According to Sadiq, this was the second major operation after Kodigehalli where 64 structures that come up on a drain were demolished.

The eviction drive was possible after a long legal battle. Finally, the high court cleared all stays and reverted the case to special deputy commissioner Rame Gowda. He ordered eviction on August 20 and 10 days were given to occupants to clear the place. The natural drain that begins at the lower end of the Nayandahalli Lake joins the Vrishabhavati Valley. With illegal structures blocking the raja kaluve, a small storm water drain was the only channel for the excess water to flow out.

"Once the encroachments are cleared, the natural drain will be restored. The BBMP has already started drain work at Kodigehalli and soon they will take up works here," Sadiq said.

As Sadiq was overseeing the demolition work, chief minister H D Kumaraswamy called him up to express his support and told him not to show any mercy on the encroachers. Next in the firing line are 31 illegal buildings in Puttenahalli.
News Source: Times of India 7th September 2007

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